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Heavy Turnout, Few Problems Reported at Polls

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Huge lines, some impatient voters and a couple of election machine glitches were reported today around Arlington, but election officials say there have been no major problems hampering voting.

Arlington County Registrar Linda Lindberg acknowledged to ARLnow.com this afternoon that there have been long lines at many of the county’s 52 polling places — some longer than 2.5 hours, according to those responding to our earlier poll. Some voters grew impatient, she said, but no one got out of control to the extent that they caused a disturbance.

“The lines are long and people aren’t happy about having to wait,” said Lindberg.

Several electronic voting machines froze and had to be reset, according to Lindberg. At least one had to be replaced with one of several backup voting machines kept in reserve by election officials.

(Arlington County officials said they have “far more voting machines than required by state law for today’s election.” The county’s voting precincts have one machine for every 220 registered voters, according to county spokeswoman Mary Curtius, compared to the minimum of one machine per 750 voters required under Virginia law.)

Unlike in elections past, Lindberg was unable to reveal specific voter turnout figures. She did predict, however, that today’s turnout may break records in Arlington in terms of the number of voters casting ballots.

Twice today paramedics were dispatched to polling stations in Arlington for a report of a voter suffering medical problems. One such dispatch was for an elderly voter who looked like he or she was about to faint. The other was for a voter who reportedly collapsed at a polling place in Pentagon City (see photos, below).

Lindberg said she was unaware of any medical emergencies at polling places, but said that election workers are trained to provide chairs for elderly voters, as needed.

 

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